Fandom: Generation Kill
Disclaimer: Based on fictionalised portrayals as seen on the HBO miniseries.
A/N: A collection of time-stamp things in the verse of Light up the trenches, following that but set before the one love that gets me so high. Written for kubis' birthday project.
Brad wakes up slowly, almost drowsily. He is sure he slept for hours and yet he’s tired, even exhausted, but not in a bad way, just a low ache that signals past exertion, warmth settled under his skin and in his bones.
It takes him an embarrassingly long moment to remember. Worse, he’s not sure how much longer he’d be clueless if Nate hadn’t reacted to Brad moving by shifting himself, muttering something in protest and inching closer, burrowing his face in Brad’s neck.
The memory dawns and Brad’s afraid of moving now, of disturbing what could still be a fragile peace.
“Fuck’s sake,” Nate harrumphs and shifts again, fully woken up and clearly annoyed. “Why do you have to be a morning person?” he asks. It could be meant as a rhetorical but Brad shrugs anyway.
“So are you,” he points out in what he hopes is a reasonable tone, not a trace of defensiveness. Nate is in his bed, well, okay, Brad is in Nate’s bed technically, but that’s not the point. The point is, Brad gets this and he doesn’t want to cause Nate any annoyance now, there’s a small and not completely un-pathetic part of him that worries this could be temporary.
He never said he wasn’t an idiot. His gut still clenches.
“Not on mornings such as this,” Nate mutters and sits up a little.
“You mean good ones?”
Brad’s trying for nonchalant and probably missing by miles, because Nate narrows his eyes and stares at him for a moment before his expression smooths out, turns almost too gentle, his eyes bright and too green.
Yesterday’s been... yesterday’s been a blur, they haven’t even left Nate’s place, ordered in and didn’t even bother to put any clothes save for Nate’s slacks when he went to open the door and pay for the food. Yesterday’s been the best day in Brad’s fucking life. He’s not sure how many days like that he can get but he’s determined to use every one to the fullest.
“Brad,” Nate says, low and pointed, like he wants Brad’s full attention. His index finger taps Brad’s jaw, to the same end. It’s absolutely unnecessary, it’s Nate, he’s always going to have Brad’s undivided attention. Now, whatever he’s looking for in Brad’s face he seems to find it, nods slowly, shifting even closer, leaning into a kiss that starts slow and warm but turns heated and almost desperate fast. “It’s not the last,” Nate says against Brad’s lips.
“Kiss, morning, day. Not the first either, not really.”
“Just the first day of the rest of our lives?” Brad teases and Nate hums, letting him bring the conversation onto lighter levels.
“Well, if you’re going to go with the sappy quotes, I have a monologue from my next project to rehearse.”
Brad groans theatrically. “Are we entering the punishment phase of this?”
“Not even close,” Nate tells him matter-of-factly and draws back. Brad misses the warmth of his body pressed close already. “Come on, I’m pretty sure we’re out of food so you’re taking me out for breakfast.”
Brad follows, and not because right now there’s an added incentive of Nate heading for the shower. He follows because in many ways it is a first day and he intends to follow from then on.
Especially if it’s into the shower.
Brad can count four people with cameras in the general vicinity of the cafe, and that’s not counting the fact that these days absolutely everyone has a camera ready if they have their cellphone with them, and everyone always has a cellphone with them.
He never thought he’d miss the 80s, but in some ways it was a better, simpler time.
Usually the cameras don’t bother him that much. He was never doing anything even remotely exciting, other than possibly go grab a coffee with a co-star (fine, sometimes it was grab a coffee with a co-star that he might possibly have been seeing at the given time, but point stood), so there was no reason to avoid the paparazzi, if they wanted a photo of him coming out of a coffee shop then who was he to question their sanity and life skills?
So, he never cared, except now the whole thing was stopping him from kissing Nate hello, so yes, he did fucking care now.
“Colbert,” Mike nodded, looking all damn pleased for Brad’s liking. “What’s new in your life?”
Like he didn’t know.
Brad takes the empty seat next to Nate and slides down, kicking Nate’s shin not at all accidentally. Nate’s lips curl up a little and he leans to the side in his own chair ever so slightly, edging in Brad’s direction.
“That’s not at all conspicuous,” Mike tells them.
Brad shrugs. “Fuck off,” he proposes, not bothering to back up the words with any kind of heat. He probably couldn’t even if he tried. He is in the kind of mood when he automatically smiles at the waitress, who actually trips over her own feet as she makes her way over and comes back twice because she forgot something of their order.
It’s an LA coffee shop, one street away from Brad’s regular gym. He can name seven people way more famous than him who attend the place regularly, you’d think a waitress here would be more immune.
“Maybe she’s new,” Nate supplies, because in his free time he’s perfecting reading Brad’s mind. “Play nice,” he adds. It’s easy coming from Nate, who doesn’t even laugh when he’s signing a photo for the girl and she has some difficulty in spelling her own name.
“I hate you,” Brad tells him.
“That’s not what the word on the street is,” Mike mutters.
“I meant the regular Person broadcast.”
Brad nods. “He’d be glad to know he’s been promoted to ‘the street’. Also, why are we here?”
“Because it’s a lovely day and sun is good for you,” Mike says sagely, looking like he’s trying not to laugh. Easy for him to sit there calmly. It’s the first time Brad sees Nate in something like a week, Nate’s plane had landed yesterday evening but Brad had a previous engagement with a fucking talk show he could not cancel.
He did try, though. Resulted in Walt yelling at him and then calling Nate to complain. Good times.
“And because Claire told me to personally invite you to Annie’s birthday party. And because I’ve been called with an offer for Nate but it shoots in Paris for three weeks and I feel like I should consult with the wife.”
“Your wife? That’s new.”
“He means you,” Nate grins, like he’s finding it hilarious. Brad doesn’t quite see the funny side, but he’s jet-lagged himself, not to mention brainwashed by late night television. “He means he doesn’t want a repeat performance from that one time when I almost flaked on a job because it was a few months in England and away from you, and then you broke up with me for my own good or whatnot and Mike had to, as he put it, deal with my bitchiness for longer than even a kind soul like him could take.”
“You’re taking it pretty well.”
“Turned out you’re the wife in this relationship, so.”
Brad shakes his head, but before he can answer Mike gathers himself up unsubtly. “I’m gonna be somewhere else for a bit.”
“Subtle,” Brad says and Nate snorts, covering his mouth with the back of his hand. “You’re thinking of doing that movie?”
“Oh, I’m doing it,” Nate shrugs. “I’ve learned my lesson. Besides, it’s just three weeks.”
“So the whole thing is just Mike Wynn being paranoid?” Because that sounds credible.
“The whole thing is me wanting to see you, Mike just hopped on the chance to drive the point home.” Before Brad can speak, he smiles. “I’m glad you’ve asked. The point is that I’m always going to factor you in my decisions, but they are ultimately going to be my decisions. We’re still going to discuss them together. I expect nothing less and nothing more from you.”
“Your terms are acceptable,” Brad nods, warmth settling in his stomach. This hints at constancy, this is a long term plan. He’s more than okay with that.
“I was hoping you’d say that. Because if you still have an open schedule for the next two months, I thought you might go with me.”
“To Paris? Not too cliche for your tastes?” he asks, because blurting out an immediate yes would be just a little too much. Nate probably sees right through it.
“I don’t care, and I don’t think you do.”
Turns out people in Europe watch movies, who knew.
What Brad means to say is, he went to the old continent a few times before and never got much attention. That was before Thor, though, and now he can’t go out of the hotel for five minutes and not be recognised.
It makes it less of a holiday and more like work. It also means that photos of him and Nate having dinner make the American papers two days after they get to France and Brad isn’t sure what that means.
“You can say you’re here on holidays. That you met a friend for dinner, since he’s working here at the moment.”
Brad turns away from the screen and Ray’s linkspam e-mail and looks at Nate. He sounds reasonable and calm and like it’s not a big thing.
He sounds like he’s lying through his teeth.
“Deny the speculations?”
Nate shrugs and doesn’t answer, just absently tugs at the string coming off the armrest of the couch. Brad has the bad feeling he had missed something.
“You thought this might happen.”
Nate rolls his eyes at him. “For how long have you been in this business?”
That’s not the important thing here. “And you didn’t mind.”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I am the one who’s out and doing European independent movies. My career is not at stake and I don’t have a superhero franchise sequel in the works.”
“I’m not lucky enough to get fired from that.”
“Not the point.”
“Exactly the point,” Brad says, a little louder than intended. Somewhere there they’ve started arguing and he doesn’t even know what they’re arguing about. “So, we’re going public. Okay. Can we next time just talk about it and not have you rehash bad fanfiction plots?”
“Since when do you read fanfiction?”
“It was one time and I was drunk and it was terrible. Nate?”
There’s a slow smile appearing on Nate’s face, like a glimpse of sun from behind the clouds. Brad should have known he wasn’t the only one feeling like the ice under his feet is thin, like he’s a step away from a mistake.
“Idiots,” Nate mutters, meaning both of them, and Brad reaches out, invites Nate to tug at his sleeve and drag him down to the couch.
“It’s a good thing we’re stuck with each other, it’d be a hell to inflict on anyone else.”
They don’t do joint interviews. Brad was pretty adamant about that and met with no resistance, in fact, Nate looked at him as if he were an idiot and asked if Brad had rules against doing couple tv quizzes as well.
At least Brad has an excellent taste and isn’t shacking up with someone who’d think joint interviews were a good idea, as if they were the fucking Brangelina.
“It’s Brate or Nad, and that’s just sad,” Nate told him, making a face at the accidental rhyme.
“If you take our last names you could make a case for Cock.”
Nate stares at him in horror before bursting out laughing. “Who came up with that? Ray or that livejournal community?”
“Ray in that livejournal community,” Brad admits. “He was getting frustrated no one else came up with that.”
“Give him my heartfelt thanks, I appreciate everything he’s doing for us.”
“You’re sending him a cease and desist letter, aren’t you?”
“I’m hiding the good scotch when he comes visit next time, that should do it,” Nate shrugs. “But who am I to veto making a case for cock.”
Brad himself isn’t sure if he’s laughing or groaning, possibly both at once. “Don’t you have an interview to get to?”
“Right,” Nate nods and stands up, buttoning his shirt up. Well, not his shirt.
“Don’t you want to change?”
Nate looks down, examining Brad’s green shirt he has on, and shrugs. “Not really.” It’s a little loose on him, but not much, not when he leaves the top buttons undone and rolls his sleeves up. Brad has to practically sit on his hands to stop himself from dragging Nate back down. With the shirt and the whole part with mentioning cocks, and, well.
This leads to the interview that Brad actually records. He does not jack off to it, as some people (Ray. And Nate, when he’s had a little to drink later) suggest, but he does take some satisfaction in reclaiming the shirt once Nate gets back home.
Brad comes home to find Joseph Gordon fucking Levitt on his couch.
“That’s the wife?” Joseph Gordon fucking Levitt asks, staring at him. His pupils are a little too dilated for the light of the room, and the way the whole room smells of weed is a pretty good indicator why. “You look taller on screen.”
“Shush, you. Hey, Brad,” Nate smiles as he comes out of the kitchen, carrying a plate full of nachos. Brad shakes his head, even as Nate leans in for a quick kiss. It’s not that he’s against Nate smoking pot, the few instances when they got high and fucked were pretty damn spectacular, it’s that he usually doesn’t have the audience of Joseph Gordon fucking Levitt.
Who the fuck needs three names in this business?
“Didn’t we have a talk about bringing strays home?”
Nate shrugs. “This is Joe. He’s pretty fantastic.”
Nate’s usual cheerful disposition gets amplified when he’s stoned. He loves the whole world then. And no, Brad’s not jealous at all.
“Joe has a home to get back to, right?” he asks suspiciously and gets twin wide smiles. He’s pretty sure things can only get worse for him.
It turns out the three weeks in Paris weren’t enough, because the director is a control freak and needs reshoots of pretty much every scene.
That follows with some changes in the script, too, because hey, it’s fucking winter in Paris, and that leads to Nate staying away for something like over a month.
And getting sick.
It’s the European germs, much more vicious than the American germs.
Also, Nate tends to be an absolute prissy princess when he gets sick, more so than he is on the daily basis. It’s no wonder Becky the Assistant calls Brad up.
(Well, fine, she doesn’t, really. Nate sounds drowsy on the phone and Brad calls Becky to see if everything is fine. But he’s sticking to the other version, it sounds much better.)
“I have the flu, not the last stages of cancer,” Nate informs him when he opens the hotel doors, looking like he just woke up, hair a mess and barefoot.
“Shut the fuck up, why are you out of bed?”
“See, I was there, but then someone knocked on the door.”
“It was open, you could have just called for me to come in.”
“And I was supposed to know it was you how? You didn’t call ahead.”
“You woul have told me not to come.”
“Obviously,” Nate nods resolutely. Brad would like to point out he’s still standing there barefoot, on the cold tiles. “Why did you...”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, do I need to carry you to the bed?”
It gets him a half-hearted smirk and a vague handwave as Nate finally turns to get into bed. “I can’t believe you made it all the way over the Atlantic because I got sick.”
“Well, you’re a pain in the ass when you are sick, I’d hate for someone else to have to deal with that,” Brad says, tugging at the covers to make sure Nate’s tucked in.
“You know, you’ve been here for about three minutes and already my head hurts.”
“No need to fake headaches, dear, you look pretty damn disgusting, I don’t really want to fuck you.”
Nate looks up from half-closed lids and licks his lips. And okay, Brad lied just that little bit, but they’ll have time for it when Nate feels better. “Is that a challenge?”
“Nate, for everything that’s holy, go the fuck to sleep.”
He gets a chuckle in return and Nate tugs at his hand, making him lie down. “I love you too,” he mutters, half into Brad’s shirt as he snuggles in closer.
Brad breathes out, slowly. “Yeah.”
Brad is pretty sure his mother likes Nate more than she likes him.
It translates into the fact that Nate can have all the pie he wants. It’s just that little bit unfair.
“Let it go, shut up, and have some of the cheesecake your mother sent me.”
Brad lets it go.
“Early release,” Nate says, tossing him the flat dvd case. Brad turns it in his hands. It’s Screwby, the collector’s edition.
“That’s your idea of an anniversary present? A dvd you got for free?”
He should have checked himself before he spoke. Nate chuckles and sits down on the floor next to Brad, gently pushing away the laptop Brad’s been taking apart. “And so you didn’t forget, despite the threats.”
One. Well, two, right at the beginning, because sometimes lowering expectations is a good tactic. Nate didn’t seem to believe him even then, because he’s always been good at seeing right through Brad.
And because Brad can’t quite hide how much he wants this, needs this. How he could give up acting and he could give up his bikes, two things he really loves in this world, but he would never be so stupid as to give this up again.
“You have that face that means you’re thinking sappy thoughts,” Nate informs him. He’s the one to talk, with the way he leans into Brad, rests his head on Brad’s shoulder.
“I have never done anything sappy in my life. Not unless I’m being paid big bucks for having it recorded for the general audience’s enjoyment.”
Nate nods. “I’ll go get the camera. Ten bucks per hour okay?”
“If you’re getting the camera it better be for homemade porn.”
Nate laughs, but something in his expression says that he wouldn’t be entirely opposed to the idea. Brad files the thought for later. Now, he just stretches out on the floor, kicking some metal parts away. “I’ve actually have some plans. And a reservation.”
“But?” Nate prompts after few seconds of silence.
“I can’t be bothered to move.”
Nate nods thoughtfully. “You know, it’s the strangest thing,” he drawls. “Can’t be bothered to move either. I suppose we’d have to stay like this for a while.”
“Forever,” Brad corrects him, because fuck it, if now isn’t the moment to be sappy then nothing is.
“Okay,” Nate agrees. “Sounds like a plan.”